Friday, December 9, 2011

My Sister is Diagnosed, Adrenal Fatigue & Be Your Own Advocate

I'm in the kitchen watching my younger sister take Mepron, the yellow, mustard like medicine I took for seven months for babesia. She asks me, "will it make me sick?" Everyone responds differently to everything, so I can't tell her what will happen, and will just have to watch and see how this progresses for her. It feels surreal that she, too, has now been diagnosed with babesia and lyme. However, the silver lining is that she has, we hope, been diagnosed much earlier than I and will thus get better quicker. She has been feeling unwell for a couple of months but because she has some hormonal issues thought it might be that. Then a headache developed that she "couldn't get out from under" and weird symptoms started popping up. She was tested and came back positive for both. I am completely distressed that she has to deal with this mess now too, but grateful that she got an answer. It's always scary and disheartening to be so sick and not know why! At least the entire family has been through this drill, and everyone is now very educated about lyme and co-infections and we all know what to expect. She also seems to have a stronger immune system, so I am hopeful her body will fight hard and she will not become so intolerant to foods, environment, etc.

It seems on my end that possibly the tick borne illness has been beaten down to manageable levels. What I seem to be dealing with now is the severe adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalances. Since everything seems to be related my guess is that I was already heading towards adrenal fatigue from a stressed out life and the tick borne illness put me over the edge. I've been reading about adrenal fatigue and cortisol is a major factor in histamine response, food intolerances, sleep issues, and the ability to handle stress. My body is in such a sensitive state right now that any time I eat my body gets slightly inflamed and my nose itches like an allergy! Any negative information, emotion etc feel WAY bigger than they are, simply because my body can't regulate any kind of stressor. My doctor and I have decided to do a full assault on the adrenal situation so I am starting B5 and B6 vitamins as well as an adrenal support supplement. We'll see how that effects my sleep. Exhaustion continues to haunt me and is effecting my personality. I want to be happy and positive, but exhaustion this deep makes me want to weep like a baby.

It's been a long journey and I think one major lesson has been that I must be an active participant in my own healing. I've said this before because it is such a vital part of getting well. My doctor is dealing with hundreds of patients, so I can't expect him to remember EVERY detail of my medical history. It is up to me to remind him, to do my own reading and research, to have intelligent questions to ask of him, to keep pushing and pushing for my own wellness. I must remind him I am a human being who had a life before I got sick, and that it is up to me, with his professional guidance, to do everything I can to get well. I have a couple of pictures of myself from before I got sick in my day planner, and when I was at my last appointment pulled them out and showed my doctor. He has only known me as a sick person, and I think photos like that can help a doctor see the patient as the full human being they were and want to be.

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